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SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (254,186)
Fitness Minutes: (41,531)
Posts: 27,165
3/5/13 8:01 P

I am wondering if exhaustion is the main culprit for you. Working the schedule away from home that you do, I wouldn't be surprised. Add to that that the nutrition when you are away doesn't appear to be that great, it would impact on your judgement.

Are you able to ask the kitchen at the camp to make up a smoothie for you that incorporates some of the veges you don't like, and add some fruit, maybe a few nuts and/or oat bran or wheatgerm to the mix? Are you able to convert some of the veges to a thick vegetable soup - using a wizz stick to puree them all together? Nothing is insurmountable if we look outside of the square. Having a healthy 'go-to' jar is also a great idea. That will tide you over for the healthy snacks. Have some little cans of things like chicken or tuna, some cans of fruit in their own juice rather than added sugar, and whole-grain crackers that are a good source of protein, fibre and healthy fats. Dried fruits are also a great stand-by. There are lots of things that you CAN do. As far as exercise, you may be sitting on your butt most of the time, but there is no reason why you can't get up regularly to go to the water cooler, and/or a loo stop. Who is going to check to see if you really DO need that stop? It is a great way to get some extra mobilization into your day. While you are sitting at your desk you can always spend 5 minutes walking on the spot, and do this every hour. There is no reason why you can't do arm circles, or ankle circles. All these little bits add up to a lot more than the alternative!

Alternatively could you find work closer to home that doesn't gobble up all of your time, so that you can actually get some YOU time to exercise and do whatever else you want to do?

The choice is yours - you need to decide whether you really DO want this!


LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,867)
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Posts: 2,450
3/5/13 10:29 A

First, know that while this is tough, it's not insurmountable. You've got to believe that. I, too, like focusing on what you can do as opposed to can't. But man will you have to be creative here!

Since losing weight is more about the food we eat, I will focus on that. I totally get that you don't dig the veggies they have there, but really, those are going to perhaps be your saving grace here. I'd ask whoever's in charge if there was any way to get bell peppers or whatever else you like.
If getting additional veggies isn't an option, then you need to creatively face what veggies you do have. Maybe you can take some spices w/ you? Can you chop in some of that spinach into something else to make it more palatable or to simply disguise the veggies so you don't fully taste them?

Scrape off the mayo as best you can, stick some spinach on there and remove the top slice of bread (then maybe sprinkle some sandwich spices on there)?

If all they have are casserole type dishes, maybe cut in a couple servings of veggies into the casserole to extend the volume of the meal and get in some veggie servings...

Do they offer hard boiled eggs there?

I'd bring some good quality (unsweetened) Dutch cocoa & maybe some cinnamon. Use that to dip sliced fruit in. Can you bring a jar of almond butter? That's awesome in oatmeal or spread on fruit. If you can get ahold of plain bread, you could spread some almond btr on it and top w/ apple slices for an open faced sandwich.
I'm also a fan of less sugar so I do use some of the Atkins products. I love the Oatmeal Cinnamon Baked Squares....sometimes I top those w/ Justin's Maple Almond Butter.

Maybe bring some protein powder to add to milk or yogurt?

I guess when it comes down to it, you just have to do the best you can with what you have while you are away from home. Do what you can when you are there and then really go at it when you are home.

Good luck and I know it's tough. But please don't give up!

LVSHOPE SparkPoints: (93,390)
Fitness Minutes: (25,865)
Posts: 804
3/5/13 7:43 A

Hi Toreshi, joining SparkCoach has made a huge difference for me. Today's video was on developing a "plan b.". Glad you've reached out & trust you'll find what works for you.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,301
3/2/13 4:28 P

Well. Personally I've found it's always been more helpful to me, to look for what I CAN do, rather than focusing on what I CAN'T do. You have a room. So it's not big. Big enough to march or jog in place? Big enough for squats and lunges? I've started doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and it's amazing how little space it takes, to do it in. Presumably if there isn't enough room to lie down on the floor, you could lie down on the bed and do crunches etc.

When I'm working, I'm confined to a fairly small building and don't even get "set" breaks or a lunch-- you get a break or eat when there aren't any customers. I've done laps of the inside of that store when we're not busy-- I'm surprized I haven't worn a path through the carpet. Lucky for me, there's also a set of stairs. I've done them hundreds of times. Even if all you had was 3 or 4 steps into the building, you *could* do them, over and over. Boring? Maybe. But what do you want more, to be entertained, or to be healthy?

Food's a tough one. Are the sandwiches and other food pre-made, could you get friendly with whoever prepares the food and ask for plain bread, no mayo? Is there any way to request more fresh vegetables? Surely you can't be the only person who is ever up there and wants better/different food. Depending on the location, if it's that remote-- canned may be pretty much the most practical for them though. Personally I'd do the best I could, with what was available. And if it meant eating green beans every night for 2 weeks, I'd do it. And meanwhile be making a "wish" list of all the other stuff I'd eat, when I got home.

What can you think of that you could take with you, that won't spoil and would help you most? Like pp have said, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, granola bars-- surely you've got some sort of weight allowance or space allowance, for your luggage. And could max out your space with food items, taking less clothes or other personal property.

Presumably, you have this particular job because either there's nothing else available, or it has other benefits (like 2 weeks off at a time) that you like. So the challenge is to find a way to make it work. I'd treat it like a game-- sort of like a "survival of the fittest" thing, and rack my brain to come up with some solutions.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 46,222
3/2/13 3:57 P

When I first joined SparkPeople over 7 years ago there was a quote that was sent in the daily emails, that read..."If a man really wants some thing, he will find a way, if he doesn't, he will find an excuse." This hit me dead took Thomas Edison many, many, many tries before he was able to get the light bulb to work. He did not give up. He kept trying until voila, he got it. We can all make up excuses, but the reality is, nothing in life worth fighting for is going to come easy, especially if we are forced to change because of our health.

Same is true with healthy's not going to work, unless you are willing to do the work. Walking 40 feet is what many of our members do..I am striving to hit 10,000 steps every day and if at the end of the day I am running short, I have been known to walk around in circles to hit that benchmark. The small things really do make a difference.

There are lots of healthy choices to think about--you can scrape off the mayo, you can bring nuts, raisins and other dried fruits. What about granola bars?

Please note that I am not picking on your...just trying to get you to see another perspective. When you read your own post, what would you tell the person who wrote it? Can you see any positive light to take away from it?

Coach Nancy

3/2/13 3:44 P


I think the thing that really frustrates me about the veggie thing is that there are very few I like, and those are the ones they don't have here. I love potatoes (not that good for you, I know, but still) but they only have preprocessed mashed stuff, and love red and green bell peppers, but they have neither. Instead I'm stuck with spinach (which I hate) and iceberg lettuce, celery and carrot sticks (which, I swear, just make me more hungry the more of them I eat) and a few salad toppings like onions and hot peppers. It's kind've ridiculous.

Yes we do get breaks (two 15-min breaks and one half hour lunch), but that doesn't do me much good because I can't leave the building. I work in the control center of an under-construction oil plant. Safety regulations mean I can't even leave the building without steel-toed shoes, flame-retardant clothes, and a hardhat, and even if I got all that there are regulations against walking along the have to get a shuttle. The best I could do is walk up and down the hall, which is only about forty feet long and I'd be disturbing a bunch of office people.

I don't mean to be antagonistic, I really don't, but it's just a crappy situation. If there were somewhere I could GO during my breaks that'd be different, but unfortunately there just isn't.

(I'll try not to be so bratty about the veggies though....:P lol)


I know you mean well by your first paragraph there, but just to let you know, I don't have access to tuna or turkey while at camp. On pre-made sandwiches swimming with mayonnaise, yes, but not just loose tuna and turkey. God I wish I had access to turkey!

I can't have a fridge in my room. Only executives get fridges in their rooms, and I couldn't possibly bring one out with me. Since we get a different room every time we go out I'd have to fly back and forth across the country with it every single time. That said, I will concede that there are a few things I could probably make the effort to bring out with me, like nuts or something.

Once summer is in full swing (around June) I'll be able to go for runs outside, like I did last summer, but until then I can't exercise outside. Normally we can choose to go outside and run alongside the road that the buses take around the camp complex, but right now those areas are full of snow, so we'd be running right on the road, which isn't allowed. They're very strict about safety hazards out here. Aside from running I could probably go outside my wing and do some small things like jumping jacks, although it will be awfully cold. It's still in the negative temperatures (Celcius) up here.

You two gave some great advice and I really appreciate it...I know I shouldn't be so hard on myself, I'm just finding myself falling into a really bad funk trying to deal with a weight-loss program in such a restrictive environment. I'll try to be more positive.

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,045
3/2/13 3:12 P

Wow sounds like you are in a tough situation. If you want this to work, you will need to find alternative solutions. I would try to opt for fruits, veggies, chicken, tuna, eggs, turkey, oatmeal while at camp. I would also workout in the gym regardless of how crowded.

It really comes down to how bad do you want this? What are you willing to do to get there? You mention, storage is an issue to bring in your own foods, but if you really hate the choices maybe somehow someway you can figure out how to bring some foods you prefer. Can you get a little frig in your room to store stuff. You don't want to be miserable, but eating processed food while at camp is that going to make you happy and closer to your goal?

Can you workout outside? There are many exercises you can do just with nature and being outside, even jogging and walking is good.

Think outside the box and DON'T allow your situation to prevent you from reaching YOUR goals. Good luck!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,180)
Fitness Minutes: (299,303)
Posts: 27,333
3/2/13 3:10 P


I think you're being much too hard on yourself and your body. Because of your work conditions, losing weight is going to be a challenge. But, you can't let that get you down.

If the camp is serving fresh fruit and veggies, then you're going to have to do your best to eat as many servings of the veggies you DO like. So, if you like spinach and they offer spinach, eat two servings of spinach instead of one. The fact is, if you want to lose weight and be healthy, you have to eat your fruit and veggies. If you don't, your body just want get the proper vital nutrients it needs to be healthy.

If I were to go back in time and give myself one piece of advice that would help me lose weight, it would be to eat more fresh fruit and veggies. I'm sure eating chicken and salmon can get boring. So, you're going to have to do the best you can during the two weeks at the camp. When you're at home, then you can eat what you like.

As far as exercise, do you get breaks ? It strikes me if you're working 12 hour days, you have to get at least two breaks. If so, take a walk or do a 30 minute workout as part of your lunch or dinner break. No one says you have to exercise for an hour a day to be healthy. Under these conditions, you do what you can. You could even break your workouts up into shorter segments. If you can't take a 30 minute walk, then take three ten minute walks spaced out through the day. If you can't do a DVD, then do 2-3 of Coach Nicole's online workouts.

You do the best you can under the circumstances. Don't beat yourself up. Instead, learn to adapt to your environment. If that means trying and eating veggies you don't like, who knows... you might learn to like some of those veggies.

3/2/13 2:54 P

I've mentioned this before when asking for dieting and exercise advice, but for clarification I work on a camp in northern Alberta. Out of every 28 days I spend 14 (in a row) at work, approximately 2 flying back and forth across the country, and 12 (in a row) at home.

When I'm at home everything is fine. I can get up whenever I want and do my exercises, play with my daughter, and eat the way I want to eat. I do well when I'm home.

When I'm at work everything goes to hell. There are just so many factors working against me. For starters, there's the hours. I work 12 hours a day, and spend 1.5 hours a day being bussed to and from the site. When you work in time to shower and get ready in the morning (which involves packing a lunch from the "bag-up room"), eating dinner in the evenings, and getting a decent amount of sleep (I usually get 7), then I have a 22-hour day. I have 2 hours a day during which I am not sleeping, working, traveling, or eating, and it is exceptionally difficult to convince myself to use any of that time to exercise, which is exacerbated by the following...

I have no room to exercise. There are gyms at the camp where I stay for work, but they are always packed, and since so many people have a different (shorter) shift from me there is no possible way for me to beat them to the punch. This leaves the option of exercising in my room, which is barely big enough for me to have room to do a push-up.

The other huge problem for me is the food. The options are terrible (tons of pre processed junk and calorie bombs) and what's left for healthy stuff is so little and so restrictive that it makes me want to cry after two or three days of it. The only real healthy options are fruits and veggies, and pre-cooked chicken and salmon. I can't even put salmon in my mouth without gagging and I hate most veggies, so I'm left with a handful of options. Each day becomes a constant war between my stomach and my brain over whether I should destroy my calorie count and be happy or eat my veggies and be miserable. And no, I can't take food out there with me, other than some small things. There's no storage, so it would have to be something that doesn't go bad.

To top it all off, my job is a desk job. So I spend all day sitting on my ass, suffering to choke down foods I don't like, and then by the time I get back to my room I'm too exhausted and demotivated to exercise, even if I had decent room to do it.

I hate that I sound like I'm whining, but I've been getting really depressed about this. My body resists weight loss (when I was trying to lose for my wedding I worked like a dog and it still took a year and a half to drop 35 lbs) so I know I can only succeed by combining good exercise with reduced calorie intake, but it's just so unbelievably hard while I'm out at work, and this won't work if I can only handle it for 12 days of the month!

I'm just so depressed over this. I have a good 40 lbs to lose and I haven't seen the scale move an ounce in the past month because my motivation disappears when I'm out here eating this food and finding it impossible to exercise!

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